By Daniel Hunter

The horse meat scandal is continuing to grow as French consumer, agriculture and food ministers are to hold crisis talks with key players in the meat industry.

Seven French supermarket chains have withdrawn frozen beef meals made by Findus and Comigel.

The move followed the discovery that foods sold in Europe and the UK labelled as beef contained horsemeat.

The scandal has already had an impact on distributors in the UK, France, Sweden, Ireland and Romania.

Food Minister Guillaume Garot said he wanted to ensure that all contentious products had been removed.

Romania is investigating claims one of its abattoirs is responsible.

“This situation offers a stark illustration of the risk of supply chain failure and should serve as a large wake up call for all organisations, not just those in the food sector," Hitesh Patel, Forensic Partner at KPMG commented.

"Regardless of whether horsemeat entered food products through criminal activity, fraud or mistaken contamination, this situation starkly illustrates the importance of robust counterparty due diligence for organisations in today’s market and poses some stark questions as to how far down the chain those procedures should go.

“A drive to cut costs through the supply chain can have unintended consequences. The unfolding situation offers a clear warning to organisations that they have a duty to assure their supply chain for their end consumers. At a time when trust — from customers, regulators and government - is an important issue across many sectors, relinquishing control over suppliers can have considerable ramifications.”

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